Senate Unanimously Approves Reforming Pittsburgh Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority

Harrisburg, June 28, 2016 − Legislation establishing accountability and transparency at the Pittsburgh Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority, (ICA), received unanimous support in the Senate today said Senators Jay Costa (D-43), Wayne Fontana (D-42) and Randy Vulakovich (R-38).

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Senate Democrats Call for More Funding for Human Relations Commission

June 22, 2016 – State Senate Democratic Whip Anthony H. Williams  today said that the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC) has been devastated by recurring state budget cuts and that the state spending plan now under consideration needs to address agency funding shortfalls.

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Senate Democrats Outline Legislation to Combat Opioid and Heroin Crisis

Harrisburg, May 18, 2016 – With drug overdose deaths reaching epidemic levels, Senate Democrats unveiled legislation today to address the opioid addiction crisis from prevention through recovery. “Addiction is a disease that does not discriminate and there is no easy solution to fix the problem,” Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa (D-Allegheny) said. “When addiction finds its way into a family, it can nearly paralyze them for fear of what the future may hold.”
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Democratic Senators, Community Leaders Call for State Tax Reform

HARRISBURG, May 11, 2016 – At a news conference held at the state capitol today, State Senator Jay Costa joined Senate Democratic colleagues and community leaders calling for tax reform to protect middle and low-income Pennsylvanians. At the event, Haywood introduced legislation – Senate Bills 1257 and 1258 – that would reduce the tax burden for everyday Pennsylvanians.
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Capitol Hunger Garden Opens for 7th Season

Senator Costa joins colleagues at 2016 PA Hunger Garden Groundbreaking. Located on the State Capitol grounds between the Main Capitol Building and the Ryan Office Building, the Capitol Hunger Garden first broke ground in 2010 with one, simple goal:  to create a garden that would provide healthy food to help those in need and to serve as a valuable tool to raise awareness of hunger issues in Pennsylvania.  Seven years later, hundreds of volunteers have come to the garden to harvest thousands of pounds of produce to feed many Pennsylvanians in need.
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State Senate Hearing in Erie Focuses on Gas Drilling in the Lake Erie Watershed

Erie – May 5, 2016 – At the request of state Sen. Sean Wiley, the state Senate Democratic Policy Committee held a hearing today on problems related to gas drilling in the Lake Erie watershed.
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State Senate Hearing in Pittsburgh Focuses on Opiate Addiction Treatment

Pittsburgh – April 7, 2016 – At the request of state Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa, the state Senate Democratic Policy Committee today held a hearing on ways to improve access to treatment for people suffering from addiction to opiates, such as heroin, opium and prescription drugs including Oxycontin, Percocet, Vicodin, morphine and others.
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ISSUES AND PRIORITIES

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Campaign Finance Reform

This much-needed reform measure is aimed to protect the integrity of our state government and maintain the balance of influence in the election of public officials by establishing campaign contribution limits in Pennsylvania.

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Property Tax Reform

Our new property tax plan would eliminate school property taxes for 2 million homeowners, reduce property taxes by $1,990 for another 1.2 million homesteads and provide a $500 rent rebate for more than 800,000 Pennsylvanians.

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Surprise Balance-Billing

With some 45 million Americans behind on medical bills, and half of all bankruptcies caused by them, patients should not risk being saddled with bills for services they reasonably understood would be covered by their health insurance.

Pennsylvania Legislative Arts and Culture Caucus

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The Pennsylvania Arts and Culture Caucus, a bi-cameral, bi-partisan caucus, was established in October 2012 with the purpose of providing caucus members access to the latest research, education and policy developments on arts and culture.  Additionally we support caucus members in their efforts to draft and pass legislation that advances arts, culture, and tourism in the Commonwealth.

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